Wade Henderson and Linda Holliday.jpg

Wade Henderson and Linda Holliday.

A prime mover behind Louisiana’s largest online charter school has stepped aside a decade after launching the Baton Rouge-based school.

Wade Henderson, the founding board president of Louisiana Connections Academy, later renamed University View Academy, stepped down on Tuesday from leading the seven-member board of directors, saying he wants to pursue outside interests.

He handed over the gavel to board treasurer Linda Holliday. She has taught in high school and in college and has a masters degree in education. Holliday is also a lawyer, a former state Judge and former administrative law judge.

The board is down to six members until Henderson’s vacancy is filled.

Henderson founded the school in 2009, helping it obtain a state charter that lets it enroll students all over Louisiana. It opened its doors in 2011, the same years as its chief competitor, Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy, and has grown steadily since.

University View currently has 3,240 students in kindergarten to 12th grade. That includes about 400 students who attend the brick-and-more Tallulah Charter School, which UVA took over last year.

In 2016, the board ended its longtime contract with Connections Academy, a division of textbook giant Pearson’s, it hired its own staff and changed the school’s name to University View Academy.

Michael Marsh, a school spokesman, said Henderson was a “driving force” behind the breakaway.

“He and the board agreed they did not like the corporate model and having to answer to shareholders instead of educating children,” Marsh said.

Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.